Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer Lovin' Series: Mommy School Part 2

Once the general structure of our summer was planned I wanted to gather supplies to make each day run more smoothly. Since we've done this a few summers now I've seen what does and does not work for us and I feel like we have a pretty good system that is working and it only requires a clip board for each of us and file folders.

My clipboard holds all of the monthly calendars. Kendall has a reading log clipped to hers and both girls' clipboards hold their chore chart that I printed off. They'll use the clip board during the day if they want to work away from the table. Honestly I think the best way to handle chores is to develop a habit. Usually my girls make their beds before coming downstairs in the morning. If they don't then I send them back up after breakfast and before they're allowed to play. This is what I would like to do with the other chores, have them be just part of the day. I do realize the fun of marking things off so I have the charts. My kids don't currently receive any sort of reward or allowance for doing chores, they're just their responsibility and part of being a member of the family (I'm not at all opposed to allowances though, I think they're a great way to start learning about managing money).

I think the file folders are a big part of what makes the day run more smoothly and I've discussed them here on the blog. Kendall and Kate each have a file folder for each day of the week (Monday-Friday), in that folder is everything they need for that day. If we're going to have a scavenger hunt that day, the list of items is in there, worksheets, lined paper, whatever they need they have. If they decide they want to go outside and work we just grab that folder and go. This requires planning on my part so at the start of each week I look to see what we are going to focus on and find fun activities that correspond. We're discussing autobiographies and self portraits early on so I grabbed some book titles that I want to collect from the library or go ahead and find some websites that show examples. Teachers Pay Teachers has a cute autobiography book that I printed off. I also throw in some fun puzzles or coloring sheets that they can grab out if they get bored. 

For myself I have file folders that are each marked about three weeks out. If I come across something that I know we'll want to use I throw it in that folder to have when I start planning.

When I first started pulling everything together I set a small budget and purchased the clipboards, file folders as well as a few other fun things. Below is a list of fun supplies you might want to have on hand.

Sketch Diary: Used for drawing, daily writing, nature journals and sketching. I'll be using Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab book to work through this summer (for me and the girls)

  • Workbooks: I generally buy a grade level up and use a Scripture based penmanship book
  • Art supplies: try a variety of media for any age. Colored pencils, paints, oil pastels, chalk, play doh, clay, markers, even different textures of paper. On May 20th designer Todd Oldham releases a line of Kid Made Modern, fun art supplies at Target (yes, I have it written on my calendar...I'm also accepting Target gift cards)

  • If penmanship is a goal then try different writing surfaces: dry erase, little chalkboards, shaving cream...
  • Blank booklets: Sometimes a story in their journal can be developed further into a little booklet. Kids love to make books. I keep a few of these blank ones on hand for when inspiration strikes.
  • I've mentioned it before but browse the Teachers Pay Teachers website. These ladies know what they're doing and have fun packets pulled together already. My personal favorite (part because of her design style, grade level and general cuteness) is The Teacher Wife's work. You can even find free stuff so if you have a low budget to work with you don't even have to buy workbooks just search that site or any basic google search.
Although Kendall is officially out of school, Kate's preschool is in a different school district so she has field trips planned all this week. We haven't formally started Mommy School this summer since our days are still very much filled, I have informal things ready in case someone asks (and they have) or if boredom strikes.

That wraps up the Summer Lovin' series on how I plan for keeping the kids busy during the summer. It may seem really planned out but honestly we just go with the flow, we play and swim and craft but the key is to have a plan in place when they are bored or want to work on this stuff so you're not scrambling when the time comes. 


  1. So much eye candy in this post! Ahhh, school supplies..... A dangerous thing to read before I head to Target. ;)

  2. Sure would love to read another post here. Has it really been over a month? Hmmmmm.....